How to engage HCPs right now? Two communication channels to consider

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How do you support healthcare professionals while corona virus restrictions are in place? With traditional face-to-face meetings currently not an option, many companies are wondering what to do. So, what ways are there to activate customer teams and reach HCPs?

The good news is that there are proven tools that reps can use. For some time, there has been a broad trend towards online customer engagement in pharma. And early adopters have already reported excellent results. Now, with social distancing a requirement, these tools are being rapidly taken up across the industry.

Two solutions that are particularly relevant to pharma right now are ‘remote engagement’ and ‘self-detailing’.

Remote engagement

Remote engagement enables your reps to run detailing sessions and other kinds of meetings online. Reps connect with HCPs and can then show a detailing presentation – or any other material – during the call.  

The use of this technology in the life sciences has grown rapidly over the last few years and many companies report excellent results. The flexibility that it provides HCPs is much appreciated, and engagement levels are generally very high. Many companies actually find that remote calls last longer than standard detailing and offer opportunities for more in-depth discussions.

It’s recommended to use a solution designed specifically for the needs of the life sciences. One specific issue to look out for is whether the software works by broadcasting content rather than screen sharing. With broadcasting technology, the HCP can only see the presentation materials. Screensharing, however, has potential compliance issues as a rep can accidentally expose their desktop (and therefore any open files or documents) to an HCP.

To get the most out of the technology, remote presentation materials need to be carefully designed. The content has to be easy for reps to use and, most importantly, impactful for HCPs. It should also be possible for HCPs to interact with the content, just as they would with a quality eDetailing presentation during a face-to-face meeting. That makes a big difference to the experience you provide and the engagement levels that result.

Done well, remote engagement can provide a very high-quality experience for HCPs – and it also offers specific advantages in terms of flexibility and cost efficiencies. Many companies that don’t have remote solution in place are now actively implementing one as a matter of urgency.


Another good solution – and one that is very easy to implement – is ‘self-detailing’. This enables HCPs to access your eDetailing presentation (or other material) by making it available online in a secure way.

With reps working from home right now and looking for tools to help them engage HCPs, self-detailing provides a useful tool to engage and stimulate discussion. The self-detailer can be emailed to an HCP who can then review the content in their own time. Then the rep can follow up, either by sending content via approved email or a remote call to discuss the details. And, because all HCP interactions with a self-detailer can be tracked, they can get real insights into their customers’ interests to inform these engagements.

To get it right, your content needs to be adapted to fit the medium. Because the rep isn’t there to guide HCPs through the content, content navigation is key. Here there are a number of options, but one good way is to embed a ‘chatbot’ into the presentation that acts as a guide though the content.

Chatbot technology might sound complex but is actually straightforward. At Anthill, we have created numerous ‘self-detailing’ presentations for pharma clients – in a way that is fast to create and fully compliant with regulatory approval achieved in record time.

Open communication channels to HCPs

Right now, many companies are looking for ways to open a communication channel to HCPs. Remote engagement and self-detailing are both great options. They deliver quality experiences in a flexible way and can be created quickly because usually we just need to adapt existing content.  

It’s likely that the on-going trend for online HCP engagement has increased sharply in recent weeks. With everyone using technology stay in contact with colleagues, people are more familiar with it and better understand what’s possible. And it’s changed expectations.  

Putting these solutions in place now not only meets immediate needs but provides long-term benefits as reps are able to meet HCP preferences for more flexible kinds of communication.

Download our self-detailing and chatbot eBook

This eBook provides more detailed information on self-detailing, explaining how the technology fits into pharma marketing plans and strategies. (It’s actually our most popular eBook.


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